Okay, so, yeah, today I’m going to talk about my crazy road to publication. I’m one of those random people who has been writing since they were a kid. I never really thought about getting published until my last semester of college when I took Writing for Children and Teens taught by Ann Cannon (she writes under AE Cannon). Anyhow, she pushed us to send out a query letter as part of our final. That really freaked me out! But I did it, and though nothing ever came of it, it did get me thinking about what I should actually do with all the stories I’d written. Up until then, well, I don’t know what I’d thought: someday I’d magically get published, I guess. Ahh, to be that innocent again!
Anyhow, I took one of my novels and spent a lot of time revising it. I started querying publishers, mainly because I really didn’t understand the logic behind agents. (Yeah, I know, I was a newbie…) Anyhow, I got several bites, but nothing came of it. But I did get some good advice, and I also stumbled across Verla Kay’s Blue Boards, where I started learning about all the real publishing stuff. Also, I found some critique buddies, who have been totally invaluable.
Novel number two took a while in the making. I had a hard time giving up on that first book. But I finally wrote my time-travel book that I thought was good enough to query. I managed to get an agent with it, but without getting into all the nitty-gritty details, it didn’t work out. For the better, trust me! I queried that thing to death though, and finally shelved it. *Sigh* My pile of not-quite-good-enough manuscripts is pretty big.
I’d written Colors Like Memories somewhere in there. I decided it would be the next one to suffer my attention. When I started querying, it got a lot of attention from agents. I won several big contests, etc etc. But I couldn’t seal the deal! I even had a major revision request from one agent, which took the story from a college-setting to a high school one. But it didn’t work out with that agent (imagine lots of contact between my head and the wall). At this point, I was a little frustrated. I knew this book was good enough. Every agent who read the full said very nice things. But, (there’s always a ‘but’) there were a ton of angel-like books on the market. *Shakes fist at sky* Dang other angel books! And my characters aren’t even technically ‘angels’—but since they have wings…oh whatever. Anyhow, I had choice to make. Shelve the book or attempt to find a publisher for it myself. (This was over a year ago and self-publishing wasn’t totally as on-fire as it is today.)
I decided that I just couldn’t give up on this story. I’d read a lot about MuseItUp Publishing over on the Blue Boards, and thought I’d send them a query, after I’d looked into them a little. A couple of weeks after I emailed my materials, they were super happy to take on my book. Yay! I was sooo thrilled! Still am, too :) MuseItUp has been a great house to work with and I highly recommend them. And, a year later, Colors Like Memories is out in the world!
A bit about the Colors Like Memories:
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.
Release date: May 11th 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing.
Muse it Up
A bit about Meradeth Houston:
- She’s a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
- When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
- She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
- If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.